IKEA Hamburg Altona

Though it has been the subject of a lot of debate and even some protests, Hamburg has recently gotten something very special: our very own IKEA. Now, we already had two IKEAS, actually, but they’re the typical kind – on the side of the highway, and though they were accessible by public transportation, it always required a long trip to the outskirts of town and a lot of effort carrying home one’s purchases.

Now, we have an IKEA right smack dab in the middle of the city – easily accessible to all by bus and train…and if you live close enough like I do, you can walk there! It’s the very first IKEA of its kind worldwide.

A lot of people in the neighborhood aren’t thrilled about it, since it probably means higher rent for them and fewer places to park, not to mention that it’s in an area with many smaller businesses that may not make it much longer due to that.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m a big fan of IKEA and love going there to browse. (And always end up buying way too much, of course!) I love that I can just go there now without making a whole day of it. And I can have hotdogs and Köttbullar whenever I want!

Is there an IKEA near you? Are you a fan?


Two months Theo

Two days ago was Theo’s two-month birthday.

It’s amazing how much he’s grown and changed already. He’s starting to be much more alert, taking in his surroundings, and visibly enjoying new sights and sounds, reacting with a smile or even an almost-giggle.

As his parents, Tobias and I are of course biased, but we often look at him and say, “He’s soooooo cute!” and we just can’t believe he’s ours. We’re so lucky.

Today we went shopping and he took a nice nap in the stroller as we walked around our neighborhood, stopping at various stores to get what we needed. Some luggage locks for Tobi, who is leaving tomorrow for a business trip for two weeks in Mallorca. (Still a bit jealous I can’t come!) A bicycle lock for our stroller. Some deodorant and batteries. Just the basics.

When we got to the Baumarkt (like Home Depot or Lowes) to get a hook to attach our new stroller lock to, Theo had woken up and was crying. I thought he might be hungry, so I told Tobi to go in and get what we needed, and I would sit outside on the bench and feed Theo. But when I picked Theo up out of the stroller, he seemed quite happy to be on my shoulder and wasn’t showing any signs of hunger. So I took him inside instead, and I’m so glad I did.

Theo loved the Baumarkt! He was wide-eyed and kept staring at all the things. When I found Tobi looking at the hooks, nails and screws, Theo just seemed to be enamored with looking at the things on the shelves. Tobias talked to him and asked him if he liked the Baumarkt, and Theo got this huge grin on his face and squealed. It was THE CUTEST THING EVER! He continued to be in a happy mood, smiling and cooing at everything, for the remainder of our time at the Baumarkt.

Just something I want to remember, because it was so adorable.

I love this little guy more and more each day.

Theo’s first fourth

We spent Theo’s first Fourth of July here in Germany, of course, but we still made it festive by dressing him up in a cute American outfit. Grandma and Granddad came over for breakfast, and then in the afternoon, Selina and Geoffroy arrived from France. They’re in town for the baptism, as Selina is one of Theo’s godmothers. From then on, it was a crazy mix of German, French and English. (Switching between English and another language is no big deal…switching between French and German is pretty strange and difficult for me!)

We went out for lunch in the neighborhood, as there is the Altonale street festival this weekend and they already had stands up selling all sorts of different foods. We had pulled pork and sauerkraut sandwiches, Schmalzkuchen (fat cakes!) and then we went to Eis Liebe for some ice cream, where they had a new flavor: kumquat lime. Yum!

In the evening, we watched the Germany vs. France game in the World Cup. We watched at home, and Tobias put up some flags on our door and made a scoreboard. It was pretty funny having Geoffroy there, who was of course rooting for the French team. Selina was caught between both teams, since she lives in France but is German. And Tobias was rooting for Germany, of course. Germany ended up winning 1-0. We tried to make the celebration as bicultural as possible. Selina and Geoffroy brought over rillettes de porc, a baguette, and a pretzel.

And two flags, one for Germany and one for the Netherlands. Oops. Right colors, wrong flag.


Dunkin Donuts in Hamburg!

The day has finally come…Dunkin Donuts is in Hamburg at the Dammtor train station! We stopped by yesterday on the grand opening day to get ourselves a box of 12 donuts to celebrate.

Hamburg has its own donut chain, Monkey Donuts, which is also good. But just not quite the same. Dunkin Donuts tastes just like HOME.

It was super busy there, of course, but they were well-staffed and kept the donuts coming to keep up with demand. It was a little bit of mayhem trying to stand in line and order, but that just added to the excitement.

Photo bombed by the guy behind us! LOL

The signage was a bit off…but somebody corrected it.

This smiley-faced donut has red filling and banana frosting and is called the “Hamburger”.

So happy!

P.S. We also no longer need to bring a big box of donuts home from Berlin every time we visit! That will make traveling a lot easier, haha!